The Whirlwind Hill farm never, as far as I know, lacked water. My ancestors chose well when they settled there. Natural springs flowed through the fields and down the hills. Muddy River provided water for animals, fish for dinner, and fertile land for crops.
The Whirlwind Hill land I own with my brother shares many of these springs, one of which flows from the cow pond, under the lane, and onto our property. My parents dug a well when they built the house. This well water, although abundant, displeased my mother who found it too “hard” (too full of minerals). She put a water softener in the basement because, she said, softer water made for a better lather and a good “soak in the tub.” But we avoided drinking the bad tasting softened water and bemoaned the impossible-to-rinse-off soap film left on our bodies after bathing.
Now that I’m an urban dweller I turn on my faucets with near-certainty that water will flow into my teakettle or onto my sudsy dishes. Our water is always cold. It always tastes good. It’s always available. But there’s nothing quite so exhilarating as the icy water from an underground spring. It feels new and sparkling as it escapes from its source and meanders over rocks and vegetation, through the culvert, and on into the green, green fields.
On Friday: June Window